Eight Guilty in Chile Death Caravan

  • 12/26/2013
  • Reporters Desk

Chile — Eight former military members were found guilty, Dec. 23, in the murder of political opponents during the rule of Gen. Augusto Pinochet in Chile.

The former military members were part of the Caravan of Death, a military operation thought to have killed about 100 opponents of the 1973 military coup. The Caravan of Death was a “delegation” of military men that Pinochet sent to Chile’s provincial towns. The Caravan of Death travelled from town to town in a Puma helicopter, armed with grenades, machine guns and knives, killing opponents of the coup.

On Oct. 19, 1973, the unit arrived in Antofagasta, where 14 political prisoners taken to a ravine and executed by firing squad. The prisoners had been tried and convicted by military tribunals but not yet sentenced.

Between Sept. 30 and Oct. 22, 1973, the Caravan of Death landed in 16 towns and killed 97 people, according NGO Memory and Justice figures.

About 40,018 people were human rights victims under the dictatorship and 3,065 were killed or disappeared, official figures state.

The former military members were sentenced to between three and 15 years in jail for killing 14 people in Antofagasta shortly after the coup.

The ruling can be appealed.

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